Sciaena is a non-profit entity with legal personality, with national and international scope, created in 2006 by Marine Biology and Fisheries students from University of Algarve. It envisions a healthy marine environment and an informed population engaged in its conservation. Sciaena’s mission is to promote the improvement of the marine environment by encouraging the sustainability of fisheries and other forms of use and minimizing the impacts of pollution though knowledge, education, communication and political intervention.
In collaboration with national and international NGOs, Sciaena has had a significant role on the broad debate about Portuguese and European fisheries and related issues. The broadened objective is to constitute Portuguese NGOs as relevant and constructive stakeholders in this area. Amongst several activities, Sciaena was one of the founders of PONG-Pesca (Platform of Portuguese NGOs on Fisheries). Since April 2013 and through a consultancy with The Pew Environment Group on Fisheries Policy and Research, Sciaena has worked on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform and is now accompanying its implementation, as well as deep sea and tuna fisheries legislation.
Since 2014 it has been coordinating a project that aims to promote small scale fisheries and enhance their sustainability. Project VAL+ is a partnership with Docapesca, the state owned company that manages landings, and SPEA, Portuguese Birdlife member.
Since April 2016, Sciaena is a grantee of Funding Fish, with a project that aims at implementing the CFP and improving the environmental performance of fisheries in Portugal and the South Western Waters of the European Union.
Some of the main regular initiatives organized by Sciaena are Mar Motto and Scianema. Both are original ideas of Sciaena that aim to communicate the oceans and their conservation in a different way: trough urban art and cinema.
Nationally, Sciaena is a member also of the the Algarve Petroleum-Free Platform and the Portuguese Association on Marine Litter, and at European and International level, it is a member of Seas at Risk and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
And what more does the future bring? Sciaena is preparing itself to engage further in: Aquaculture, Marine Protected Areas, Marine Litter, Renewable Energies, Seabed Mining, among other relevant marine conservation issues.